At a recent networking event, someone asked me about the common mistakes that I see on resumes. Then, he asked me if it differs depending upon the industry. In all honesty, it doesn’t. My typical client is someone that is age 35 and older, hasn’t looked for a job in over 10 years and now has an opportunity to make a career move or is being forced to do so. No matter the circumstance, read below for the five most common resume mistakes that I see on a regular basis.
#1 – Including an objective. Just. Don’t. Do. It. No one cares about your objective. While that may sound harsh, it is the truth. The company cares about what you can do for THEM. How are you going to make their job EASIER? Stating that you are looking to “…grow your leadership abilities while enhancing their organization…” isn’t helping your cause.
#2 – No career summary. So, you have (maybe) skipped the objective, but still didn’t include a career summary. This is a necessity. Provide the company with a high-overview of you as a job candidate. It only needs to be a three to five-line summary that gives several skill-sets and aligns with key words in the job search. Please know that this is the FIRST part of the resume.
#3 – A missing skills section. If you don’t have a qualifications/skills/core competencies/areas of expertise section, you are missing out. And, more importantly, companies are missing out on YOU. This is THE place to utilize those key words used in the job posting. If you don’t tell a prospective employer about your skills, how will they have any idea what they are? Use short, succinct, bullet points to match as many key words as possible—as long as you can back it up during a job interview.
#4 – Including dates with education. Unless you graduated from college last Saturday, the year you graduated no longer matters. In fact, at some point, that information could start to hurt you and could potentially bring about age discrimination. And, if you are yet to graduate from college, put your estimated date of month and year of graduation on your resume.
#5 – Including OLD jobs. While I LOVED my job as bank teller in high school, that was more than 20+ years ago and is no longer relevant. You don’t need to include very single job that you have ever had on your resume. Think relevance over quantity of past job experiences.
If you are still unsure of what to include or exclude from your updated resume, contact me HERE and I will provide you with a free resume review!
P.S. If you are ready to make your changes NOW, go HERE and download my 7 Steps to Mastering Your Job Hunt!